Sys­tem vs val­ues

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

IN GER­MANY it is il­le­gal to dis­play the Swastika. For­get free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion. That’s how de­ter­mined Ger­mans are to pre­vent a grim pe­riod in their his­tory from dis­fig­ur­ing the new face of Ger­many, now a truly demo­cratic fed­eral repub­lic and an eco­nomic pow­er­house.

Here, we not only al­low Mar­tial law’s dark night to be changed into day but also put per­pe­tra­tors back in power. We also al­low a cor­rupt oli­garchy to con­tinue marginal­iz­ing us. Thus, we have re­mained a sham democ­racy and a lag­gard econ­omy.

Sur­veys show that the front run­ners in the com­ing 2019 elec­tions are the same thiev­ing and mur­der­ous po­lit­i­cal per­son­al­i­ties that refuse to change a sys­tem de­signed to ex­clu­sively ben­e­fit a priv­i­leged few.

We won­der why we can be so stupid as to elect over and over again the same peo­ple that con­sis­tently lead us to eco­nomic slaugh­ter. What dis­torted val­ues spur us to do such a ter­ri­bly stupid thing?

But to my mind, it is not a prob­lem of val­ues but of sys­tem. The po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is ef­fec­tively neu­tral­iz­ing what­ever good val­ues we learn from par­ents, schools, and churches. In this fun­da­men­tally flawed sys­tem, only the al­ready rich and pow­er­ful have ef­fec­tive ac­cess to po­lit­i­cal power.

In our big joke of an elec­toral sub­sys­tem, no poor Filipino, no mat­ter how qual­i­fied and hon­est, can run for of­fice. Com­elec will in­stantly dis­qual­ify her/him as a nui­sance can­di­date for lack­ing the fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to mount a re­spectable elec­tion cam­paign. Why, very sim­ply, the cor­rupt keep get­ting elected be­cause they alone can af­ford to buy, cheat, and even kill their way into of­fice in our sys­tem.

In a true party sys­tem, po­lit­i­cal par­ties that meet the pre­scribed qual­i­fi­ca­tions, such as a min­i­mum num­ber of card-car­ry­ing mem­bers, a so­cio-po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy, a pro­gram of gov­ern­ment, and in­ter­nal rules of dis­ci­pline, be­come cer­ti­fied as pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions. As such gov­ern­ment pro­vides them with a bud­get for the con­duct of es­sen­tial party ac­tiv­i­ties like train­ing on party phi­los­o­phy, pro­grams and dis­ci­pline.

They could also use their bud­get to mount elec­tion cam­paigns that pro­mote their po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy and pro­gram. Un­der the sys­tem it is the party’s pro­gram that is voted into of­fice. The party se­lects the pre-listed mem­bers who will oc­cupy the seats the party wins in an elec­tion.

Clearly now the poor can form a party. They can craft a phi­los­o­phy and pro­gram of gov­ern­ment that re­spond to their needs. And with their bud­get al­lo­ca­tion they can ed­u­cate mem­bers and mount re­spectable cam­paigns for of­fice.

Oth­er­wise, the good sense of the poor does not even have a snow­ball’s chance in hell of sur­viv­ing in the flawed sys­tem that val­ues-starved lead­ers refuse to change./sunstar Cebu

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